The old ball and chain

If you’ve driven past the tourist information centre at the corner of Mayor Magrath and Scenic Drive South, you may have seen this.

At first glance, you might think Lethbridge is home to Canada’s largest tetherball, or that we decided to retire our city’s beloved wrecking ball. What you are actually seeing is Lethbridge’s “wind gauge”.

Now, I say “wind gauge” because it doesn’t measure wind speed at all since the ball is welded to a piece of metal anchored to the ground.

We have a good sense of humour when it comes to the wind. We are the windiest city in Alberta, and we’re not afraid to poke fun at ourselves because of it. When Environment Canada issues a wind warning for our area, we just take it to mean that it will be more windy than usual. We pull up our hair, slap on a hat, and get on with our day.

We really do have a love/hate relationship with the wind here in Southern Alberta.

The bright side is that we can take advantage of being a windy area by turning wind into electricity via wind turbines like the ones west of Fort Macleod.

Another benefit of our plentiful winds is the Chinook, a warm front that melts winter’s cold, frosty blanket that makes living here more tolerable than many other places in the country.

Love it or hate it, the wind is here to stay.

Do you love or hate the wind in southern Alberta? Why?